homepage logo

Ready to open

By Staff | Mar 20, 2016

The former Elmore Academy facility (and former Elmore Public School) has been remade into the Elmore Assisted Living facility and will be opening up for applications for residents beginning with an open house this week on Tuesday.

Over the past several months, residents of Elmore and surrounding communities may have noticed an increase in the amount of activity at the former Elmore Academy and youth residence.

From drywall and fresh paint to furniture and new carpeting, this building is getting a facelift that will enhance its living areas, but also provide a welcome addition to the greater community. In just a few days, prospective residents and their families will be touring this former school site once again as it re-opens to the public as Sunflower Communities’ Elmore Assisted Living & Memory Care.

The new facility is boasting an innovative approach to senior care.

When the concept of assisted living is mentioned often images are conjured up of ornate lobbies and soaring fireplaces, expensive extras that can sometimes cost residents and families much more than they initially thought, say the company’s administrators. Understanding that many people don’t want these additional expenses, but are simply looking for a welcoming community with the care that they need is the foundational philosophy that Elmore Assisted Living & Memory Care is built upon.

“We’ve established a Community Living Philosophy that promotes modest accommodations, a high level of care, and great food for our residents,” says Kim Johnson, administrator for the project. “Everyone needs to feel the warmth and welcome of home when they visit and we’re confident they will. We look forward to showing off our inviting living spaces to the community on our upcoming public tours.”

Staff members pose for a picture. Left to right are; Kim Johnson – administrator, David O’Brien – maintenance technician, Erin Maidl – admissions and activities coordinator and Nina Hanevik, RN – clinical site manager.

Sunflower Communities’ Elmore Assisted Living & Memory Care also aims to provide a daily activities program for residents, on-site spiritual services, an on-site beauty salon, an LPN on-site 24 hours per day, and additional care services for residents with memory loss offered in a secure unit. The community is also open to residents on Elderly Waiver and CADI programs.

“We hope to meet the needs of residents and families throughout the southern Minnesota and northern Iowa area,” explained Erin Maidl, admissions and activities coordinator for the community. “Based on my conversations thus far with county case managers and interested families, I think we’re on the right track by offering a more affordable living option that provides residents with the care they need to continue to thrive in their own home in our community.”

In addition to building this new community, Johnson has also been focused on growing her staff in preparation for the opening. First to be hired was Nina Hanevik, an Elmore native, for the RN clinical site manager position.

“The fact that I get to be a part of this major endeavor focused on caring for the people in our community is exciting,” says Hanevik.

The Elmore Assisted Living staff along with countless local vendors, contractors, community members, and even a handful of college students on their winter break, tirelessly worked to prepare the site for residents. From hauling furniture to hanging curtains, everyone involved in this project has been more than willing to work above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done. The six residential wings on three floors have been transformed into welcoming neighborhoods featuring single and double occupant bedrooms opening to community living and dining rooms with shared bath and laundry areas.

One of the new common living room/dining room areas at the new Elmore Assisted Living Facility. There is one of these areas on each floor of the site.

Sunflower Communities’ Elmore Assisted Living & Memory Care residences are just the beginning of a much larger project on this site, the new managers say. With several thousand square feet of space including a full-size gymnasium, multiple classrooms, and meeting areas, this complex has the potential to reinvigorate the community of Elmore and surrounding areas, they explain.

“We’re looking forward to bringing this new senior community to Elmore because we believe it will not only make a positive impact on our future residents and their families, but it also has the potential to become a special addition to the greater Elmore area,” explained Johnson. “Our vision is to bring new life and growth to the area by offering another place for local people to congregate.”

Plans are already underway for quarterly community events including pancake breakfasts, fundraisers, and ice cream socials to be held on-site to connect the assisted living residents with the greater Elmore area community members. Additionally, a multitude of new development opportunities exist to transform the additional available spaces on-site for functional use to stimulate the local economy and continue to build a stronger community.